It's time for the second part of today's journey through the music running through my mind, and I'm going to kick it off with something that will leave you doubting my taste in tunes.
"Guilty Pleasure" is usually a term used to describe something you like that isn't cool... something you're not proud to admit. I'm not a fan of this term. If you enjoy something, if it makes you happy, don't feel guilty about it. It's something that should be embraced. I can explain why I like everything I like. You may not feel the same way as I do, but I'm not embarrassed to say I like comic books, The Monkees, professional wrestling, The Three Stooges, infomercials, or The Partridge Family.
Yes, I said the Partridge Family, and I don't just mean the TV sitcom. I also mean the music put out by David Cassidy and the session musicians that played on the tracks. Those musicians were some of the finest players in California's "Wrecking Crew" like drummer Hal Blaine, and guitarist Tommy Tedescho. The songs were written by some of The Brill Buildings best writers, and David Cassidy has one of my all time favorite singing voices... tell me you don't wish you could sing like him. I own all the albums on cd, and they always make me happy. That's nothing to be ashamed of
This song came close to being my wedding song. It was definitely on the short list. Just listen to the awesome percussion work, and the psychedelic keyboard sound that shows up around 1:07 and weaves it way through the rest of the song.... and like I said, the vocals are excellent. Listen to how they build towards the last chorus.
I probably haven't convinced you of the musical validity of Cassidy and crew, but I'm happy with my effort.
I'm pretty sure that "I Think I Love You" by The Partridge Family was the first record I ever owned, but the first artist that was my "favorite" was country legend Glen Campbell. In the early 70's when I was only 6 or 7 he had his own variety show on TV that I would never miss. When his theme song of Gentle On My Mind started I was glued to the television for the next hour.
A couple years ago it was announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, and would be going on a farewell tour. I was lucky enough to see him just a few weeks before that announcement. Susan took me to the casino in Salamanca because she knew how much Glen and his music meant to me. At that time, before his condition became public, I was able to enjoy the concert without the knowledge of his condition hanging a dark cloud over the show. It's something I'll always treasure because I'd never seen him before, and I found out afterwards I probably wouldn't have the chance again. His voice was still great, and his guitar playing was amazing as he played all his hits, and some stuff from his most recent album.
Here's a really cool version of my first favorite song with Campbell and Leon Russell from 1983...
I can't resist doing a double shot of Glen. His 78th birthday was earlier this week, and I hope whatever is going on with him he's in a good place. This is his 2008 cover of U2's "All I Want Is You", and it's beautiful.
As long as I've taken sort of a country turn, this is the perfect place to put Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover of Charlie Rich's "Lonely Weekend".
Another pretty obscure, but awesome, cover... The Black Crowes doing The Velvet Underground's "Oh Sweet Nuthin' " featuring a rare lead vocal by guitar player Rich Robinson.
We'll close out this set of covers with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes killer live version of the blues classic Stagger Lee. As Brother Wease and I always say, "horns make everything better".